How to Play Baccarat

Baccarat is that enigmatic card game you see in movies, with high rollers in tuxedos and women in formal evening dresses laying down chips as the dealer distributes cards. Don’t let its mystique intimidate you; with a little time and effort, even the most novice player can master this exciting card game.

In a baccarat game, players place bets on either the Banker hand, the Player hand, or the Tie hand. During the course of a round, the dealer will deal two cards to each hand. The winning hand is the one that totals closest to nine. If neither the banker nor the player hand scores a 9, a tie is declared.

The simplest way to learn the rules of baccarat is by watching a professional play the game. A famous example of this is the hand played by Pierce Brosnan’s James Bond against Famke Janssen’s Xenia Onatopp in the 1995 film GoldenEye. If the player’s first two cards total 7 or higher, no third card is drawn; this is known as a ‘natural’ and is an automatic win for the player. If the player’s first two cards equal 6 or 7, a third card may be drawn. However, if the player’s first two cards total 4-7, the banker will receive another card.

If the player and banker have the same score after the initial deal, it is called a ‘draw’. A ‘draw’ occurs in about 9.4% of baccarat games. A ‘draw’ is a loss for both the banker and the player. However, a ‘draw’ can also occur if the first two cards are of different values; in this case, both hands are dealt another card.

When betting on the banker hand, you must remember that a 5% commission is paid out of winnings. This lowers the payout odds on this bet to 19 to 20. However, if you correctly predict a winning player hand, you qualify for a 1 to 1 payout.

The best tip for playing baccarat is to play short sessions, and to set a spending limit before you begin. This will help to avoid the house edge catching up with your bankroll over time, and it will also keep you from chasing losses and going on a losing streak. In addition, it is always wise to use a stop-loss betting strategy, which will ensure that you are not losing more money than you can afford to lose. In this way, you can prevent a losing streak from turning into an expensive nightmare. In addition, it is recommended that you avoid the ‘Tie’ bet, as it has a very high house edge of over 4%. Moreover, you should always be willing to cash out once you have reached your betting limits.